North and South meet in Colorado

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For all those who know Chris Wood, bass player for Medeski, Martin and Wood, it's time to meet his brother.

Oliver and Chris Wood grew up in Boulder as sons of Colorado University biology professor Bill Wood. Their father was a guitar player and singer who loved music but didn't pursue a career in it.

¤ The Wood Brothers

¤ 10 p.m. Tuesday

¤ Levelz in Ski Time Square

¤ $12 in advance; Tickets are available at Lupo's, Wired and All That Jazz

¤ 870-9090

"He always played guitar around the house," Oliver Wood said. "He was our first influence."

When both of Bill Wood's sons decided to become professional musicians, he couldn't have been more supportive.

The brothers left Boulder, and Oliver Wood went south to Atlanta, where he steeped himself in the music of the area. The blues have shaped his playing for the 15 years he has lived there. He started a band called King Johnson -- named after Freddy King and Robert Johnson.

"I have a lot of influences from blues and gospel," Oliver Wood said. "I've gotten to play with all those great Southern icons like Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Col. Bruce Hampton."

Meanwhile, Chris Wood headed north to New York City, where he became a major player in Manhattan's avant-garde music scene as a member of the band Medeski, Martin and Wood.

Whenever Medeski, Martin and Wood toured the South, Oliver Wood would sit in.

"It was so fun for Chris and I to play together," Oliver Wood said. "We thought, 'We should do this more often,' and that's how it started.

"I showed him my songs, and we went into the studio to make a demo."

The music they play as The Wood Brothers had Oliver on guitar and slide guitar with Chris on upright bass. Their band is heavily influenced by the roots music of the South. Without a drummer, their instruments are often used for percussion.

The first half of the show is acoustic, and the second half features Oliver Wood on electric guitar.

"It gets rowdy," he said.

On this tour, The Wood Brothers will play Steamboat Springs and Boulder for the first time as a duo.

The Wood Brothers plan to release their first CD, produced by John Medeski, on Blue Note Records in March.

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